Jennifer Payne
Keller Williams Realty Community Partner



Searching for your next property? This quick read will get you headed in the right direction. Whether you’re looking for your first home, or you’re a seasoned buyer and seller, we’ve broken the extensive buying process down into a comprehensive 4-step guide. We’ve broken down the process of preparation, making an offer, inspections and due-diligence and closing so you can:

  • Save time

  • Understand the real estate lingo

  • Act strategically

  • Get the best value



Preparing to buy a home is multi-faceted. First things first, look carefully at your finances to determine if you’re in a position to pay cash or if you will need financing. We have relationships with a variety of top-notch lenders, and will offer advice on the process of applying, getting loan approval and what you’ll need before starting the process. Take note that many factors define a home’s worth—not just the aesthetic appearance—this should be heavily considered before making a decision on buying. We always say, real estate is about three things: location, location and location.

More Info About Mortgages


Before making an offer on a home, you’ll likely preview a number of properties. We offer our buyers a ‘buyer brokerage agreement’ which explains the ins and outs of agency, how we represent you and the legal protections for us to negotiate on your behalf. Once you find the perfect home and decide to make an offer, we will prepare a Purchase & Sale Agreement. This agreement is the “contract” that spells out your offer to purchase the property, the terms and any special requests, which we present to the seller and listing agent. If our offer is accepted, we call it a “binding agreement” and this begins your negotiated due-diligence period. The due-diligence period is a specific amount of time that will allow you to have a physical investigation of the property conducted, see if there are any hidden defects in the home and define additional contingencies before the purchase and financing are finalized. As Georgia is a “buyer beware” state, you have the option to terminate the contract during the due-diligence period if you find that there are unsatisfactory conditions, or the property no longer meets your needs for whatever reason. We will guide you on which specialized inspections you may wish to consider. Some include radon, mold, structural and HVAC.


The due-diligence and appraisal contingency time periods are stated in the purchase and sale agreement, and are agreed upon during the initial negotiation of the contract to purchase. Average due-diligence periods range from a few days to two weeks. Most financing contingencies last approximately three weeks to forty-five days, long enough for lenders to gather all their information and approve or deny your loan. If you are financing your purchase, typically your lender will order your appraisal, and this can take one to two weeks from the contract date. If you are purchasing with cash and wish to have an appraisal conducted, we can schedule that for you.


Buyers (or lenders if you’re financing) typically choose the closing attorney, and we are happy to offer a suggestion of closing attorneys that we trust and respect to uphold our high standards. All conditions, stipulations and amendments that have been agreed upon during the contract process must be satisfied through the purchase agreement period prior to closing. Once all conditions are met, we proceed to closing. Once we’ve removed all contingencies and the property is clear to close, we conduct our final walk through of the property, and head to the attorney to sign the closing papers and hand over the keys to your new home.